|Posted on July 9, 2010 at 6:17 PM|
Young Luke Skywalker once asked his trainer Yoda how he could tell the good side from the bad. Yoda answered with asimple, “You will know.” Many years before Lucas and Oz brought Yoda to life,the master teacher, God in the flesh; Jesus Christ spoke on the very issue the fictitious young Jedi pondered. There is a cliché that states one bad apple canruin the bunch. It’s true.
Jesus said as recorded in Luke6:43-49: “Fora good tree does not bear bad fruit nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Forevery tree is known by its good fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns,nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. As a good man out of the goodtreasures of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the eviltreasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the hearthis mouth speaks. But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things Isay? Whoever comes to Me and Hears My sayings and does them, I will show youwhom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid thefoundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehementlyagainst the house, and could not shake it for it was founded on the rock. Buthe who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.And the ruin of that house was great.
So does that mean the fruit represents our actions in ourlives? Yes. Then the fruit equals things like good deeds, compassionate, lovingeach other, and other good stuff right? Yes. So I’m saved because I do goodthings for people right? Wrong. Many times, this part of scripture is preachedon or shared, so many people get the idea in their heads that good works cansave them. If doing x amount of good things could gain entry into Heaven,Christ would not have died on the cross. A life sold out to Jesus willrepresent Him. For every tree is known by its good fruit. Right away so many folks get offended by the talk of good fruit and the e word. Before coming to Christ, we all are sinners. Jesus spokeclearly that sinners can love. Just because a person is not a Christian doesn’t mean they don’t provide and love their kids or others. Muslims love their children. But, Christ is love. Until we accept Christ as savior, we cannot know truly what love is because we don’t know who love is.
So if a person doesn’t profess Christ as savior are they evil? What’s thedifference between two criminals dying on crosses where one continues to mockChrist, but the other despite prior actions that led him to crucifixion callsout to Christ acknowledging Him as Lord? The answer lies in Christ’s responseto the one calling out to Him. “I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Many are saying, “You can’t call me evil. I haven’t killed anyone! Bin Laden isevil! Hitler was evil! You can’t call evil because I don’t follow yourbeliefs!” The Bible states that ALL havesinned. The difference between real good and real evil is the great divide, theMediator known as Jesus Christ!
As a good man outof the good treasures of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out ofthe evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance ofthe heart his mouth speaks. Whatever orwhoever controls the heart controls the mouth.
Both the Father and Son love to ask rhetorical questions.“But whydo you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things I say?” A s a people that say we love Jesus,we have to check our hearts at the door of the sanctuary. Are we a people thatshow up to church to sit with our buddies, mouth the words during worship, openthe Word only when told, and are the first to hit the door because a game isstarting? Just asking.
Hypocrisy and a lukewarm heart are not confined just to a particular group. Those two conditions affect all who breathe. You can be the teenager that says he loves Christ on a graduation trip to the beach, but drinks more liquor than you canremember. You can sing in the choir on Sunday and pass out from pills Mondaynight. You can lift Christ’s name on Sunday, trying to forget your fling onSaturday night! We have too many people parading around with the Christian maskwith no real commitment to Christ. A lot of people go to church, but so manydon’t experience God there! What does Christ want us to do? It’s pretty simple.We live our lives exalting God by accepting Christ as Lord. We hold Him aboveall others. We witness, teach and tell those who do not know about the Gospel,IE. Jesus is The Christ. It’s more than BDR (birth, death, resurrection), it isGod loving us so much that Jesus the Son is the only way back to the Father. If we call ourselves Christians like the tree producing good fruit, our lives will reflect our love and growth in Christ!
The part is a rather simple part tounderstand. Whoever comes to Me and Hears My sayings and does them, Iwill show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deepand laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beatvehemently against the house, and could not shake it for it was founded on therock. Christ is thatrock. Life is hard most of the time. We stand upon our faith in Him. When lifeis hard and we can’t stand anymore, we either give up literally or figurativelyor we stand with Jesus. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built ahouse on the earth without a foundation against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great. God knows the heart’s condition. If you aren’t trusting in Him today, you are playing a game with eternity hanging over the pits of hell. Don’t let today slip away if you don’t Jesus as your Savior.If you are a Christian and Christ’s question has pierced your heart, I pray you are replenished and recommit yourself to better service to the Lord, God Almighty.